What vaccinations does my cat need?
Before vaccinating your cat, we will definitely want to know whether or not your cat goes outdoors at all.
Rabies vaccination: This vaccine is required for all cats, by law. It is a yearly vaccine. The one year Rabies vaccine for cats is actually much safer than the 3 year vaccine. This is because the one year vaccine, made by Merial, is non-adjuvanted and cats can have problems with the adjuvant in vaccines. http://www.merial.ca/cats/purevax-rabies.asp.
FVRCP vaccination: Otherwise known as the “feline distemper” vaccine. This protects cats against feline Rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and Chlamydia. Most of these are upper respiratory viruses that can cause significant clinical signs, including a high life-threatening fever, in your cat. Panleukopenia can cause severe bloody vomiting and diarrhea and cats don’t usually survive. This vaccine is very safe and very good at preventing these diseases. Even indoor cats should receive one of these vaccines every 3 years. If one of your coworkers had a cat with one of these diseases and shook your hand at work, you could potentially bring it home to your cat!
Feline Leukemia vaccination: This is a vaccine that does a very good job in preventing feline leukemia. Feline leukemia is a disease that cats get from other cats. If they are infected with this virus, its a life-long infection and greatly predisposes to cancer as well as infections. This vaccine is only given to cats that go outdoors because it can only be transmitted from another cat, even if they are sharing food bowls or a litterbox. If you think your cat may ever go outside, you should have your feline friend vaccinated for feline leukemia (ie- “FELV”)
We do not recommend the FIV or the FIP vaccine. Feel free to discuss this further during your veterinary visit.
Every cat should be tested for FELV (feline leukemia) and FIV (feline AIDS). It is a very simple blood test that we run in-house and we will have the results in 10 minutes.